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  1. #21
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    Those of you who refuse to read first person POV are missing out on some great books. Two examples follow, but I'll let you give the names:

    "Call me Ishmael."

    "If I had cared to live, I would have died."

    If you like mysteries at all, you're missing out on two great series: the Nero Wolfe novels are all written from the POV of his assistant, Archie Goodwin and the Amelia Peabody mysteries are based on Amelia's private journal.



  2. #22
    Nadja .
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    Thank you, Sam. I am with you one hundred per cent. I dislike first person POV with a passion. I donít enjoy reading it, and I refuse to write it.

    Every major character in my books has a POV (btw, this doesnít mean they have it all at the same time).

    I find it immensely interesting to pit two characters against each other in a scene. I can be inside the copís mind, seeing the interview with the suspect play out through him, and I can be inside the suspectís mind, gauging his ďperformanceĒ by the copís reaction.

    POV is a great tool. And I use it with careful deliberation.

    Most chapters have more than one POV, though seldom more than three (which are not distributed equally). And whenever I want to showcase my villainís evilness and cruelty, I stick with his POV throughout a chapter. There is nothing like getting into the evil guys head to create tension.

    To answer Cathyís question: it is not the *I* that bothers me. It is the fact that I am stuck with this one person, when there are a half dozen others just as interesting. It is a limiting and limited experience. I donít want to be just this one person. I want to be inside the other people, too. I want to know whatís going on.

    I donít know why the action/adventure/suspense/mystery genre is overrun with first person POV. It is so frustrating. And, yes, thatís what I write. I could not imagine Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler writing books as complicated and rich and gripping in first person.

    Nadja

  3. #23
    Nadja .
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    Thank you, Sam. I am with you one hundred per cent. I dislike first person POV with a passion. I donít enjoy reading it, and I refuse to write it.

    Every major character in my books has a POV (btw, this doesnít mean they have it all at the same time).

    I find it immensely interesting to pit two characters against each other in a scene. I can be inside the copís mind, seeing the interview with the suspect play out through him, and I can be inside the suspectís mind, gauging his ďperformanceĒ by the copís reaction.

    POV is a great tool. And I use it with careful deliberation.

    Most chapters have more than one POV, though seldom more than three (which are not distributed equally). And whenever I want to showcase my villainís evilness and cruelty, I stick with his POV throughout a chapter. There is nothing like getting into the evil guys head to create tension.

    To answer Cathyís question: it is not the *I* that bothers me. It is the fact that I am stuck with this one person, when there are a half dozen others just as interesting. It is a limiting and limited experience. I donít want to be just this one person. I want to be inside the other people, too. I want to know whatís going on.

    I donít know why the action/adventure/suspense/mystery genre is overrun with first person POV. It is so frustrating. And, yes, thatís what I write. I could not imagine Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler writing books as complicated and rich and gripping in first person.

    Nadja

  4. #24
    Nadja .
    Guest

    Re: oops

    Sorry, I didn't mean to post twice. I'm not THAT important.

    Nadja

  5. #25
    Andrew London
    Guest

    Re: oops

    Third person limited POV going into (different 4- 8 different characters heads), with an interesting plot that is moving chronologically (ie forward) is a good general rule.

    If you writing limited POV, have an interesting main plot, and make sure all the subplots and everything else move forward....

    It's a winning formula.

    The best entertainment books do it.

    King, Cussler, Moore, Chrichton, Cook.

    These, are not the best writers, but they have darn fun books.

  6. #26
    Spider's Web
    Guest

    Re: Just the Right One

    Writersnet 1, I do find that the right view(s) do come to your head. Some novels are great for having multiple points of view. Others are horrendous.

    An old novel of mine would have been horrible had I written it in only one POV. My current one would be too confusing to do in more than one. The story picks the POV, not the writer. Listen to the story.

    I do not mind first person, though the only time I use it in my own writing is in short stories. First-person stories tend to have simpler, more clean-lined plots. This is why so many detest them.

    The difference between first person POV and third person whatever POV is the potential depth of the story. I challenge you to find a first person novel that has a truly deep story. In third person, you can really get deep stories that you can sit for hours and unravel. In first person, you cannot do 'clever things' because they would actually have to happen, unlike third person where you can irritate the heck out of readers just by tweaking this and that.

    There's another thing about multiple character POVS. They can help make the story deeper, but you have to make sure they don't drown out the plot.

    Spider

  7. #27
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Just the Right One

    Spider, go find yourself a copy of Silverlock, by John Myers Myers. The opening line is the second of my quotes. It's a very deep fantasy adventure, and page by page you can watch the narrator grow and become more of a real person, more a member of humanity. Not only that, you'll spend the rest of your life going, "Aha! That's what that episode in Silverlock was about!" The story is sweeping, the narration both fantastic and fantastical and the songs are wonderful! I have an edition with three(!) forwards, by Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven and Poul Anderson.

  8. #28
    Robert Raven
    Guest

    Re: Just the Right One


    "Those of you who refuse to read first person POV are missing out on some great books. Two examples follow, but I'll let you give the names:

    "Call me Ishmael."

    "If I had cared to live, I would have died."

    If you like mysteries at all, you're missing out on two great series: the Nero Wolfe novels are all written from the POV of his assistant, Archie Goodwin and the Amelia Peabody mysteries are based on Amelia's private journal."

    To which list, we can add:

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Great Expectations
    A Clockwork Orange
    Little Big Man
    all the Travis McGee novels of John D. MacDonald
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Three Men in a Boat
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    My Antonia
    The Catcher in the Rye
    All the King's Men
    Mother Night
    Tristram Shandy . . .

    and many many more


    Point being, I believe those who have expressed categorical objection in this thread to first-person POV are reacting more to the obsessively introspective autobiographical sort of first-person narrative that pervades way too much of "literary" fiction, than to the narrative technique itself. In the voice of a properly realized, non-introspective character, who relates events rather than dwelling on the complexities of inner angst, it can be a fine and useful mode of narration.

    RR

  9. #29
    . Bree
    Guest

    Re: Just the Right One

    "In the voice of a properly realized, non-introspective character, who relates events rather than dwelling on the complexities of inner angst, it can be a fine and useful mode of narration."


    Restrictive, but I love it.

  10. #30
    Carter James
    Guest

    Re: Just the Right One

    For those of you complaining about the first person, one thing you should keep in mind is that just because you run across "I" doesn't mean you will only get one POV. James Patterson writes his novels with a main character who is portrayed in first person, and several other characters who are portrayed in third person.

    I do this personally.

    My main character is first person. I have four other characters all of who are in third person, and all through there own respective points of view. I find that it helps when you have this many POVs to change person and tense. That is why I have 1 character who is first person and present tense, three characters who are third person and present tense, and one character who is third person and past tense (because he is the most melodromatic). I think it helps you get a feel for the characters (if you carfully choose which combination to use).

    I think switching between points of view adds variety to a story. But it is generally a bad idea to jump between points of view of characters who are in the same place at the same time.

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